Whether you're starting from scratch or using existing garden beds, it's essential to have a garden plan. Not only will you know exactly what you have space for, you will be much better prepared (mentally, at least) when it comes time to plant.
|Roma tomatoes, June 2013|
Last year, I started small. This was my first year gardening outside of the container garden I had out on our apartment patio. In other words, this was my first year hand-digging the soil, laying out a bed, growing larger varieties. And to be honest, I wasn't sure how much I could handle. But as the season went on, I was craving more. I wished I had more of what I did grow and I wished I grew some things I hadn't. I can't even begin to describe my thrill at carrying in an armload of tomatoes to use for dinner compared to my dismay at my wilted, dried out tomato plant on my apartment patio. Not only was my in-ground garden much more successful, it was much more fulfilling.
|Hot peppers, July 2013|
|Inadequate trellis and green beans, May 2013|
|Cantaloupe, before crop failure, July 2013|
Some suggested resources for planning out your garden:
- Companion Planting Chart - this is by far the best companion planting chart I've found to date. It helps to know which plants can help your crop and which could potentially harm.
- Square Foot Garden Plant Spacing Guide - I'm using this as a basis for how much seed I'll need. My plants won't be planted on a strictly square foot basis but I found this to be a help in planning.
- Backyard Gardening: How to Grow... - a wealth of information, especially for quick reference of light requirements, water requirements, etc.
And without further ado, my garden layout for 2014:
Now all I need is spring!